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Tampa Bay Rays news and links: Rays echoes in the playoffs

(But not Rays.)

MLB: NLDS-Chicago Cubs at San Francisco Giants Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

With the playoffs now well underway, and the Rays still not in them, one might think there’s nothing to talk about regarding the Rays and the playoffs. Wrong.

There’s an interesting pair of articles on FanGraphs right now about the Cleveland Indians and the Chicago Cubs that will remind you of how the Rays were good, when they were good.

First off, the Indians, who acquired Brandon Guyer for their playoff run this season, are the best at giving their hitters the platoon advantage. Says Jeff Sullivan:

The Indians aren’t built around a core of elite-level position players, but they get more out of their position players, because they don’t have to face too many, say, same-handed sliders.

That’s a strategy the Rays once worked hard, too, but this year they were below average at giving their batters the platoon advantage.

And then there’s the Cubs, managed by Joe Maddon and featuring Ben Zobrist, who have picked right up where the Rays left off in terms of positional flexibility. Not only is Zobrist is usual super-utility self, but Javier Baez (who the Rays have tried to trade for) plays three positions on the infield, and both Kris Bryant (3B-LF) and Willson Contreras (C-LF) make infield-outfield switches.

Oh, and while you’re at it, check out Javier Baez’s fielding.


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